For those of us old enough to remember the 1960s and 70s, the word “peace” likely conjures up a picture of the anti-war movement – Hippies flashing peace signs as they protested the Vietnam War or the “make love not war” anti-war phrase that was voiced not only by hippies and college students but also by average American families and even some who were engaged in the actual fighting in Vietnam. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair held on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in August 1969 promised “3 Days of Peace & Music.”
While peace is most often thought of in the context of a lack of conflict or violence, today we want to dig into another kind of peace, the kind of peace that only comes from Jesus. We are talking about an inner peace that brings calmness and a sense of safety, a sense of serenity, even in the midst of a raging storm. A good illustration is found in Mark 4:35-40 where Jesus is sleeping despite the raging storm that appears to be sinking the boat He is on. Here is that story as written in The Message.
Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?” Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
The world fights for peace, it negotiates for peace, but ultimately the peace found in this world is only temporary. Jesus does not fight for, or negotiate for, peace, but instead, He freely gives it away to all who trust in Him. You can have that kind of peace in the midst of whatever storm you are facing today, whether that storm is a gentle rain or a relentless deluge. That peace only comes by trusting in Jesus and trusting that Jesus is in control. It does not come by relying on people, places or things, because they will eventually fail us.
So, today, make it a priority to pray for a reassuring faith that will allow you to have not just some temporary peace, like those three days at Woodstock, but a permanent peace that is offered to you by Jesus, who among other things, is called the Prince of Peace.
New Bern, North Carolina